Burnt Timber Campground Review

May 5, 2023

Trip Reports

Campground: Burnt Timber Provincial Recreation Area
Open: April 29-September 7
Area: Ghost Wilderness
Amenities: Fire Pits, Picnic Tables, Pit Toilets, Garbage Cans, Firewood, Water Pump (not for drinking)
Types and # of Sites: 30 First Come First Serve sites (both tent and small trailer)
Costs: $40/night
Notes: Self-registration

One of my favourite little campgrounds in Alberta is Burnt Timber Provincial Recreation Area. I try to go there at least once per year because it’s one of the quieter campgrounds I’ve ever come across (especially in the early season) and it’s really pretty. Located up the Forestry Trunk Road (read: gravel and not smooth), Burnt Timber is a short drive from Cochrane or Sundre, depending on which way you’re coming from. The campground has a range of amenities available for campers, including 30 sites that are first-come, first-serve. Just make sure you check the seasonal open dates before you head out, as they’re weather-dependent and subject to change.

Burnt Timber PRA Campsites

The sites are nicely spaced apart and all well treed. On the north side of the river is the trailer/tenting sites. Although, TBH, I don’t think I would haul my trailer up the trunk road. It’s really dusty and can be in pretty rough condition depending on the time of year. Some people do though, so chose your own adventure here. I love to bring our big 6 person tent here and relax.

On the south side of the river, there are 8 walk-in tenting sites which offer such a good option if you want to feel a bit more “out there” without actually having to have the gear to go backpacking with. The parking area and the tent sites are just a short little walk (I’m talking like 100 meters) so just bring your regular front country camping stuff and haul it down in totes if you want.

There are pit toilets in both of the campsite areas as well as bear proof garbage bins and water pumps (but bring your own drinking water).

The Burnt Timber Creek runs separates the two areas of the campground and is a nice escape when it’s really hot out. I hear that some people even tube down areas of it. You can also fish this creek and apparently there is a hiking trail nearby, although we usually just hang out down by the river.

My favourite time to go here is during the week in May or June. There will likely be not many other people there and the bugs haven’t really started to come out yet, which is perfect!

Before you go:

  • Be Bear Aware. There are bears and other animals in the area, so keep you pets on a leash and have bear spray accessible at all times. Don’t leave food out in your campsite and keep all of the attractants inside of your vehicle at night.
  • Leave No Trace.
  • Have an Emergency Device. There is no cell phone reception here so come prepared with either a Garmin InReach or another emergency device.
  • Check For Fire Bans.

Here are some photos from camping trips to this pretty little campground (taken one year apart – oh how she’s grown! and that tree fell lol). Maybe I’ll see you out here one day!

Need some more information about camping with babies? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Camping With Babies blog post for ALL the information and what we bring!

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